Microsoft, the world’s leading software giant with a $1 trillion market cap, is stepping up its blockchain game with the launch of Azure Blockchain Services, which is powered by the Ethereum blockchain protocol.
As reported by the tech news website SiliconANGLE, Microsoft’s first supported ledger is JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Quorum blockchain, which is an enterprise-focused version of Ethereum.
However, unlike Ethereum, Quorum is a permissioned and private blockchain designed for sensitive applications that require privacy as well as high speed and throughput of transactions.
Explaining why Microsoft Azure chose Quorum, Azure Chief Technology Officer Mark Russinovich said in a statement:
“Because it’s built on the popular Ethereum protocol, which has the world’s largest blockchain developer community, Quorum is a natural choice. It integrates with a rich set of open-source tools while also supporting confidential transactions — something our enterprise customers require.”
Ethereum Is a Key Enabler of Next-Generation Applications
Regarding Microsoft Azure’s Blockchain Services powered by Ethereum, Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller says its distributed ledger technology is a key enabler of next-generation applications and thus marks an important milestone for Microsoft.
Adding to this he said:
“A blockchain-powered app is pretty much always a new writer, and enterprises look at the cloud to power them. And so cloud providers are doing all they can to make the creation and operation of blockchain apps as easy as possible.”
Just like how Amazon Web Service (AWS) is utilizing Ethereum, Microsoft has launched a fully managed service for companies to build and manage their own distributed ledger technologies (blockchains).
However, unlike AWS, Microsoft is initially only supporting the permission-based Quorum blockchain rather than the public Ethereum blockchain. However, Microsoft Azure will likely offer Ethereum’s public blockchain to their customers down the line.
After all, Ethereum’s blockchain technology is clearly the frontrunner, as both Amazon and Microsoft are utilizing its technology in one form or another.
It looks like blockchain mass adoption is right around the corner. What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.